By Heather Cameron
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
The following are selected briefs from the M.D. of Taber Council Meeting that took place on October 10, 2023.
Council discussed the following upcoming events: the ASB South Regional Conference on Wednesday, October 18 2023 at Royal Canadian Legion Branch 208 in Oyen, Alberta; the organizational meeting on October 24, 2023; the poppy ceremony at the Town of Taber Administration Building on October 27, 2023 at 10:55 a.m.; the RMA Conference on November 6, 2023; M.D. of Taber Fall Safety Day at 9 a.m. on November 22, 2023; the Ag Connections Conference on November 22, 2023 in Medicine Hat; and the M.D. of Taber staff Christmas party on December, 8, 2023.
Tax Recovery Lease Assignment
Bryce Surina, Director of Community Services for the M.D. of Taber, made a presentation to Council in collaboration with the Manager of Lands Planning and Development with the recommendation that; Municipal District of Taber approve the assignment of Ionne Skretting’s tax recovery grazing lease at SW 4-14-19 W4, SW 7-14-19 W4, and NW 18-14-19 W4 to Rick, Cory, and Carson Wiest.
Surina stated that Skretting requested that the M.D. of Taber approve assigning a portion of her tax recovery grazing lease to the Wiest Family and that the assignment would include three quarters of grassland located at SW 4-14-19 W4, SW 7-14-19 W4, and NW 18-14-19 W4. Skretting, Surina said, has already sold cattle and is working on divesting her interest in her lease land after assigning an additional two quarters of her tax recovery lease in June 2023.
The transfer assignment fees, Surina said, are $18,000 according to the lease agreement. A motion was made to approve the assignment of tax recovery grazing lease at the southwest of 41419 west of the 4th Southwest of 7 1419 west of the 4th and Northwest of 18 1419 West of the 4th to Rick, Corey, and Carson Wiest as per the terms of the M.D. of Taber Tax Recovery Grazing lease. That motion was carried unanimously.
ACP Grant Application Regional Water Treatment Assessment
Council discussed a request for support made by the Town of Bow Island as they apply for an Alberta Community Partnership Grant to complete a Regional Water Treatment Plant Infrastructure Assessment. The M.D., Council said, is looking to help inform and guide future investment in those facilities with respect to delivering or producing potable water in each of the regional water commissions with no matching contribution required, merely a resolution of support as well as recognizing the managing partner that’s submitting the application. Ultimately, Councilor Hildebrand made a motion that the M.D. of Taber support the Town of Bow Island as managing partner and their submission of a 2023-24 Alberta Community Partnership Grant application in support of the Regional Water Treatment Plant infrastructure assessment, with no matching contribution required. The motion was carried unanimously.
Highway Tractor Sale
Michael Keeler, Director of Municipal Operations for the M.D. of Taber, recommended to Council that the M.D. of Taber approve selling a 2013 Western Star 4900 Highway Tractor to Summit Motors for $35,000. Keeler reported the M.D. had a replacement truck delivered two weeks ago after selling an old truck back for $35,000. According to Keeler, Summit Motors does not do trade-ins anymore, but they will purchase old equipment back and put it back for sale. The equipment in question is a 2013 Western Star 4900 series with 10,482 hours on it and an estimate of 473,000 kms. Keeler made the recommendation that council support the sale of the surplus equipment now instead of holding on to it until the spring and risking further depreciation of the asset. Ultimately, Councilor DeGroot made the motion that the M.D. of Taber approve the sale of the 2013 Western Star 4900 highway tractor to Summit Motors for $35,000. The motion was carried unanimously. A subsequent motion was made that Council direct Administration to initiate a closed bid tender sale for the 2013 Western Star 4900 highway tractor and that motion was carried unanimously. Following that, Councilor Hildebrand made a motion that Administration develop a surplus equipment dispersal policy and bring it to Council. That motion was carried unanimously.
Grassy Lake Landfill Reclamation Project
Council discussed a request from the Director of Municipal Operations that the M.D. of Taber award the Grassy Lake Landfill Reclamation Project to East Butte Contracting Ltd. in the amount of $566,102.88 minus GST and engineering costs. Council also discussed requesting that Administration submit an amendment to increase the project’s MSI grant from $550,000 to $710,000. On top of that, Council discussed approving an increase to the project’s capital budget amount from $550,000 to $710,000.
According to Council, the M.D. of Taber has confirmed MSI Grant funds are available, but the purchasing policy stipulates in cases where the budget is exceeded, the matter must be brought back to council for consideration. Council determined that they were happy with the contractor, as East Butte Contracting had done a couple of other projects with them: the Vauxhall truck rest stop, and the recent subdivision in Enchant. Both projects, Council said, were completed on time with no additional funds requested.
A motion was ultimately made for the M.D. of Taber to award the contract for the Grassy Lake Landfill Reclamation Project to East Butte Contracting Limited in the amount of $566,102.88 excluding GST and Engineering. A second motion was made to request that Administration submit an amendment to increase the Grassy Lake former landfill remediation project MSI Grant from $550,000 to $710,000. A third motion was also made to approve the increase to the capital budget from amount from $550,000 to $710,000 for the Grassy Lake Landfill Reclamation project. All three motions were approved unanimously.
Regional Emergency Livestock Services Plan
Jorden Holst, Interim Director of Agricultural Services for the M.D. of Taber, stated that a Regional Livestock Emergency Services Plan was recently presented to the Ag Service Board, approved by them, and is now awaiting approval by the M.D. Council. Holst first acknowledged and gave thanks to the Pincher Creek Emergency Management organization for their help in supplying the basis of the plan. Acknowledgement, Holst said, was also given to Emergency Chiefs Cote’ and Bougie for helping with the development of the plan and ensuring that Emergency Services within the M.D. can follow through with the plan. The Emergency Management Plan, Council said, would involve looking at how big of an impact the incident has on property, human life, animal life, and the economy and those factors would determine how an incident is to be managed. Ultimately, Councilor DeGroot made a motion that the M.D. of Taber approve the Regional Emergency Livestock Services Plan and add the plan to the M.D.’s current Emergency Response Plan.
Regional Community Standards Appointment
Council discussed how Taber Police Service has recently had some staff additions to the Community Standards Unit: Brandon Demers and Earl Coby Cobarrubias. Coun. Clawson made a motion to appoint pursuant to Section 555, Subsection 1 of the Municipal Government Act of Alberta as the designated Bylaw Enforcement Officer and Bylaw Officer Brandon Demers and Earl Coby Cobarrubias. The motion was carried unanimously.